Today, I’m going to say what I believe no one in fashion dares speak about. Maybe it doesn’t even occur to them.
Why don’t Christian Louboutin shoes have padding?
Let’s put aside that gorgeous, famous red sole, and the exquisite Italian craftsmanship for now. I don’t dispute the value in either of those variables.
But I gotta ask... why can’t padding be added to the shoe?
Here’s some responses I’ve gotten:
(1) No pain, no gain. Beauty and comfort do not go together! You can’t expect comfort.
This is at best naive and at worst illogical. Naive because in this day and age, beauty and comfort are not mutually exclusive. We have matte lipsticks that are creamy, gel manicures that last for 2+ weeks, etc. Hermes bags will keep so well, they are known for being handed down from generation to generation — they don’t try and say “Beauty and practicality don’t go together”! (Although BMW might say it…)
Illogical because even if I agree that beauty and comfort are a rare combination, it doesn’t automatically follow that we should just give up trying to achieve comfort. Assume I agree that beauty will never be totally comfortable. Shouldn’t we still do our best to make it *as* comfortable as we can? Even if we make beauty our priority, we can still do little things, something to add to comfort.
(2) The entire shoe is 100% leather, it’s comfortable enough once broken in.
The fact that the shoe is all leather doesn’t answer the question. Perhaps it’s true that this fact makes the shoe quite comfortable. But wouldn't it be even more comfortable with padding, in addition to all the leather?
(3) Padding interferes with the design.
Louboutin does make some intricate designs, so I understand if those can’t be accomodated with padding. But the design above, the “Rolando 120s” (120 is the height of the heel in mm), doesn’t really look like padding would affect how the shoe looks.
A more illustrative comparison would be between Louboutin’s “Simple 100s” and my Ann Taylor “Perfect Pumps.” The AT pumps go for just a fraction of the Louboutin price. -- often on sale for ~$80, compared to Louboutin's $800! (Click here for a comparison of the two — you will be surprised how similar they are.) Ann Taylor pads their shoes very generously — the first time I put my foot in a pair I actually gasped a little. Sorry for the drama ;) But they’re heavenly! So, the design between the AT “Perfect Pumps” and Louboutin “Simples” are almost identical — ‘cept AT’s manages to include padding and Louboutin goes without.
A final point: considering that the shoes above were almost $800, I can’t believe they don’t have padding included. To be clear, I don’t dispute that the cost of the shoe is $800 — I understand there is a lot of brand positioning, quality differences, etc. that come into play. So I’m not questioning the price, at least not in this post. Rather, what I am wondering is why isn’t there padding!?
(In all fairness, I have to mention AT’s “Perfect Pumps" have gone through a change in design. Previously they were made with all leather, just like Louboutins -- including the sole. The new design is slightly “sturdier” looking, and now has a rubber sole. I’m disappointed to see this because I really love the elegant look of a leather sole, though I guess rubber soles are less likely to slip on slick floors. Regardless, I still recommend these heels!)
What d’you think about this? Do you have any high-end items that have annoying flaws that you have to put up with?